As a family, we’ve recently finished up the complete series by C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia. The long chapters and thick language took us through the journey over many months, but the allegory and vibrant stories were worth it. The characters are just like my three adventurous boys. Their heroics are not unlike the superheroes my boys follow in the cinema. Their childlike questions and their grown-up problems are something the children of today live with. Their bravery is something out of a storybook.
Narnia! It’s all in the wardrobe just like I told you! -C.S. Lewis
When I was a girl, my big brother came home for Christmas from college and brought me a giant paperbound copy of The Chronicles of Narnia. I read them all in order and enjoyed the stories as a child would. Reading them to my own kids, though, I saw the truths through the stories I’d read before. This is not unlike how I read scriptures. I recount them to my own kids as nothing more than the children’s stories I’d heard at their age but learn new truths each time I read them.
Once Upon a Time…
The epic story of heaven and earth begins the same way as most, with the beginning. When I was a girl it was a way to learn about creation, nature, sin, and family. As a woman who has had her share of mistakes, celebrated almost 2,000 Sabbaths since birth, and had three children of her own, the story of Eden means much more to me today. The opening sequence of scripture actually sets the stage for the entire story–and one we’re still a part of. It’s the origin story of our existence, the introduction of the characters and conflict, and basically the inciting event that starts the historic course of events.
What I love about being a “grown-up” and knowing the rest of the story is this: I always blamed Adam and Eve for that inciting event, for the war on earth due to their sin and lack of self-control. In truth, the sin that began this war was not ours. The event that snowballed into a “cosmic conflict” was not on earth at all but in heaven. The darkness on earth today is from Satan. All of the bad that resulted from sin was because of Satan. All of the destruction and loss on earth and all that heaven lost when 1/3 of the angels fell was because of Satan. What’s more, all of the destruction at the end will also be because of Satan. Which side of war and history we end up will depend on where we stand. If we’re on the side of Christ he doesn’t care if we’re rich or poor. He doesn’t care if we’re broken or whole. He doesn’t even care if we’ve made every wrong mistake–not truly. The story of redemption is one of restoration and love. We are but speaking animals who have lost our humanity, yet God saves us from the destruction to come, brings us to His heavenly place, and this is where the story truly begins.
I have been wandering to find him and my happiness is so great that it even weakens me like a wound. And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me Beloved, me who am but as a dog. (The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis)